More Chinese Student Visa Applicants Will Be Subject to Security-Related Delays

A State Department official has spoken on background to the Associated Press, saying that more Chinese applying for F-1 visas as graduate students in fields related to science and technology will need “special clearance from multiple U.S. agencies” and that such clearances are “expected to take months for each visa application.” Other nonimmigrant visa applicants seeking to visit or work in the U.S. who have backgrounds in science or technology may be subject to the same security checks. Continue reading “More Chinese Student Visa Applicants Will Be Subject to Security-Related Delays”

Is the Chinese Students and Scholars Association an “Affiliate” of the Communist Party? Would Joining Make Me Ineligible for a Green Card?

A reader asks:

I am a student at the University of … with an F-1 visa. I’m a senior. I will be applying for optional practical training (OPT) work authorization. Hope to find an employer to sponsor me for an H-1B visa and a green card. I heard that a green card application can be denied if the applicant has belonged to an organization “affiliated with” the Communist Party.  If that’s true, could membership in the Chinese Students and Scholars Association be a problem?

Continue reading “Is the Chinese Students and Scholars Association an “Affiliate” of the Communist Party? Would Joining Make Me Ineligible for a Green Card?”

National Vetting Center Established by Trump Administration

A new National Vetting Center is being established pursuant to National Security Presidential Memorandum 9, signed by President Trump on February 6. The Center will coordinate the way agencies use biographic, biometric, and other data used to vet applicants for visas, admission to the United States, and immigration benefits, and in enforcement and removal (deportation) actions. The Center will be housed within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Continue reading “National Vetting Center Established by Trump Administration”

“Administrative Processing”: a Black Hole for Visa Applicants

For the uninitiated, “administrative processing” is State Department-speak for a temporary visa refusal pending further investigation of a visa application. (9 FAM Appendix E, 404). The applicant typically learns of the temporary refusal when, at the conclusion of the interview, the consular officer issues a written notice stating that under section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act no visa can be issued until additional administrative processing has been completed. Continue reading ““Administrative Processing”: a Black Hole for Visa Applicants”

Client Alert: State Dep’t Begins Stricter Vetting of Visa Applicants

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent four cables to consular officers between Mar. 10 and 17 with preliminary instructions for stricter vetting of U.S. visa applicants. The cables emphasize that “all visa decisions are national security decisions” and that additional screening may “may cause interview appointment backlogs to rise.” Continue reading “Client Alert: State Dep’t Begins Stricter Vetting of Visa Applicants”

President Trump Signs Revised Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry”

President Trump has signed a revised Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” It goes into effect March 16. The ban fails to address the original version’s flaws and its thinly veiled scapegoating of Muslims and refugees. Continue reading “President Trump Signs Revised Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry””

Trump’s Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals”: Latest News and Summary

The Latest

Enforcement and interpretation of President Trump’s Executive Order (EO) on “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals” are evolving rapidly, so check back here for updates.

2017-02-16: The Trump administration plans to unveil a revised EO on immigration next week and rescind the president’s initial travel ban, which has been entrenched in legal battles throughout the country, as reported in The Hill. President Trump said during a news conference on Thursday that he would unveil a more tailored travel ban “next week sometime.” The U.S. Department of Justice similarly informed the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in the Washington v. Trump litigation: “Rather than continuing this litigation, the President intends in the near future to rescind the Order and replace it with a new, substantially revised Executive Order to eliminate what the panel erroneously thought were constitutional concerns.”

2017-02-09:  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has denied the government’s motion for stay of the district court’s temporary restraining order (TRO). Translation: The TRO suspending implementation of the EO remains in place. The government may appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. Continue reading “Trump’s Executive Order on “Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals”: Latest News and Summary”

Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude: Judge Posner’s Blistering Concurrence in Arias v. Lynch (7th Cir. 2016)

posnerJudge Richard Posner of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is perhaps the most-cited legal scholar of the twentieth century. His reputations for brilliance and for rudeness are both on display in his concurring opinion in Arias v. Lynch (7th Cir. 2016). Continue reading “Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude: Judge Posner’s Blistering Concurrence in Arias v. Lynch (7th Cir. 2016)”

Communist Party Membership Makes Some Ineligible for U.S. Green Card and Citizenship

NPCDid you think the Cold War was over? The U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act still makes ineligible for permanent residence and citizenship certain persons who have been members of or affiliated with the Communist Party. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has some 80 million members, so this ground of ineligibility is a key issue for immigration lawyers representing Chinese clients.

Continue reading “Communist Party Membership Makes Some Ineligible for U.S. Green Card and Citizenship”

Special Considerations for Visa Processing at U.S. Consular Posts in China

Q&ASince our firm’s offices are in China, we are often asked by lawyers in the U.S. to work as local counsel for U.S. visa applications at the U.S. Consulates in Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Shenyang. We make it our business to know each consulate’s policies, practices, and procedures. Here are the basic tips we give most frequently to stateside lawyers: Continue reading “Special Considerations for Visa Processing at U.S. Consular Posts in China”

Univ. of Northern New Jersey: a Federal Sting Operation Targeting Student Visa Fraud

unnjIn a first-of-its-kind sting operation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) established a sham school in September 2013. The University of Northern New Jersey offered no classes or instructors. But for a price it offered to shady recruiters an opportunity to obtain fraudulent student visas for foreign customers. Continue reading “Univ. of Northern New Jersey: a Federal Sting Operation Targeting Student Visa Fraud”

Kerry v. Din: Supreme Court Rules Embassy Need Not Tell U.S. Citizen Why Husband’s Visa Denied

supreme_courtThe U.S. Supreme court has just ruled, in Kerry v. Din, that a U.S. citizen wasn’t entitled to judicial review of her husband’s visa denial on terrorism grounds. The decision leaves intact the consular nonreviewability doctrine but stops short of definitively barring future challenges by U.S. citizens to relatives’ visa denials. Continue reading “Kerry v. Din: Supreme Court Rules Embassy Need Not Tell U.S. Citizen Why Husband’s Visa Denied”